Canberra Japanese Nara Candle Festival – a spring cultural festival with food

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Canberra’s annual Japanese Nara Candle Festival is immensely popular and it’s great to join in with the enthusiasm.

The lakeside setting and high quality entertainment is ideal for an evening picnic with a Japanese flavour.

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There are plenty of interesting new foods to explore with some great old favourites as well as lots of other exhibits to enjoy.

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Red bean paste desserts  $6.50                                    Strawberry daifuku $6.50

It’s true that the great  support can mean some long queues for food, but here are ten useful tips to make the very best of this great opportunity.

1. Get a group together so you can work as a team to grab a great spot and gather great food to share and enjoy together.
2. Go early, before the official start time of 4:30.
3. Take your own picnic rug or chairs & table to set up in an ideal spot.
4. Drop off your group and props before parking. There’s good parking across Commonwealth Ave from the Albert Hall and you can walk under the road through the underpass).

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5. Take a bottle of wine, glasses, platter & sharp knife for sharing and napkins.

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6. Look out for the most popular foods (probably with the longest queues, as these are often the best).
The Takoyaki Octupus dumplings ($7 for 6), Yakisoda bread ($8 each), and Okonomiyaki – Savoury Pancake ($9 each),Strawberry Daifuku ($6.50 for 2) were all popular and excellent choices.

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Yakisoba bread $8 (really very good)

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Okonomiyaki – Savoury Pancake ($9 each) (bacon, onion, BBQ type sauce, Mayonnaise type sauce – delcious)

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Green tea ice-cream $4 (quite strong flavour)

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Assorted red bean paste desserts $6.50

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Soba noodles $9

7.  But don’t overlook the old favourites like Sushi and Gyoza.

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Sushi  $3.50 (very good)

8. Use the sharp knife the serve foods in hors d’oevre  size pieces so that everyone can taste and try everything.

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9. Enjoy the entertainment (don’t miss the Narrabundah College dancers, they were great).
10. Have a wander around the exhibits.

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